Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blessings come from service, fasting and prayer

During their Central States Mission in 1953, George and Cora Rowley learned that their daughter, Shirley, had been diagnosed with bone cancer.The couple wanted to return home to be with her.

One night, George had a dream they were in a beautiful chapel and were about to leave but when they got to the door, they saw that they would have to go out into the pouring, mudding rain. George felt that they should stay in the mission field. Cora agreed.

Family and friends fasted and prayed. Shirley received a priesthood blessing. After surgery, she became totally cancer free.

A question came back with the biopsy report: "When did this patient die?"

She did not.

In fact, I saw her a few weekends ago. It's been almost 60 years.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More photos of George and Cora

Camping in 1919

Abt 1928

George and Cora with first grandchild, Helen and youngest child, Shirley. Abt 1934.

Summer 1934. Richard (15), Leonard (10), Cora and Shirley (6).

Cora and George- Thanksgiving 1937. 13 year old Leonard's profile on right.

Home of George and Cora before remodel.

Remodeled home. George and Cora's son, Richard, spearheaded the remodeling and landscaping after returned home from his mission in 1943.

1948, in front of their home in Parowan.

In front of the St. George Temple with other temple workers in 1964 or 1965.

Cora in 1983 with her children and their spouses.

Friday, May 18, 2012

George Samuel Rowley


George Samuel Rowley was born on November 12, 1887 in Parowan, Utah. She was the youngest of the eight children of Richard and Mary Ann Ray Rowley.

Richard & Mary Ann, about 1925

George, about age five (1892)
George grew up in a comfortable home. He and his family tended animals, had an orchard and a garden on their property. His father was a master gardening, and George learned early the value of hard work. He was well-liked among his peers, and had a knack for animals, especially horses.

The 1900 Census shows George's father Richard as head of household, along with his mother Mary Ann and 6 of their children. George was 12 year old at the time and under occupation is says, "At school."

Closer view of Richard Rowley family on 1900 Census.

George in about 1903 at 15
In 1909, at the age of 21, George married Cora May Morris in the St. George Temple.

The couple had six children: Morten (stillborn), Ramona, Morris, Richard, Leonard, and Shirley.

Census, 1920

George worked hard to provide for his family and had many different occupations over the years from hauling freight to raising turkeys, from raising sheep and dairy cows to dirt farming. He was even hired to help people with their horses.

George and his family were very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Through the years, George served in many callings including counselor in a bishopric and stake missionary. He also worked for 8 years with Cora in the St. George Temple.

George was not drafted for World War I, but two of his sons, Morris and Leonard, served in World War II. During the war, George listened to the radio faithfully to keep track of the fighting whil Cora worried.
George in 1946, age 58.

George & Cora served two missions together. The first was in the Southern States Mission from December 1948 to June 1949 and the second was from June 1953 to June 1954 to the Central States Mission.

George and Cora before leaving in June 1953

Cora, 1953. George 1952.

In 1959, the couple celebrated the 50th Wedding Anniversary.

George never lost his love for animals. 1960.

He loved the outdoors, was a great camp cook and was a great mechanic.

George died March 5, 1965 in Cedar City, Utah and is buried in the Parowan Cemetery.

Click HERE to see his gravestone on Find A Grave.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cora and the old buck

When Cora's oldest daughter, Ramona, was four years old she was in the pasture with some sheep. The big buck sheep charged Ramona, knocking her down. Cora went to the rescue...and was also knocked down by the buck sheep. Every time she attempted to stand, the buck charged again.

Finally, a neighbor heard her call for help and came to the rescue. He whacked the buck with the blunt end of his ax. The buck seemed to recover from the blow, but died a few days later.

Cora's son, Leonard, wrote: "George reluctantly admitted that his wife was more valuable than his prize buck."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cora May Morris

Cora May Morris was born December 25, 1890 in Sanford, Colorado. Cora's parents, William Thomas and O'Lena Christina Mortenson Morris, had moved from Parowan, Utah in 1886 to join Lena's family who had responded to the call from the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to establish pioneer settlements in the San Luis Valley.

William T. and Lena in 1887

Cora was small and frail, but learned to help with household chores. At the age of 5 or 6, she used a flatiron from a wood-burning stove to iron handkerchiefs.

In 1900, Cora's father suffered a severe heart attack and was told to move to a better climate, so the family made their way back to Parowan.

Morris family in 1903: Rear: Will Jr., Cora, Earl, Isabelle. Front: William T., Una, Alfred, Angus and Lena. (Second son, Anders, died in 1895 at the age of 10.)

Cora was a good student and earned a full scholarship to the Branch Normal School in Cedar City, UT (now SUU). In 1909, Cora married George Samuel Rowley, son of Richard and Mary Ann Ray Rowley.

Cora and George were married on January 14, 1909 in the St. George, Utah Temple.

In October 1909, their first child was stillborn.

Baby's death certificate

Shortly after, they moved to Alberta, Canada, near George's sister Charlotte, but in October 1910, the couple return to Parowan due to Cora's health. The weather and water took their toll on her and they returned to Utah in October 1910. In October 1912, their first daughter, Ramona, was born. She was named after Cora's brother Earl Raymond Morris who died a few months early, at the age of 19, when a tree he was cutting fell on him. In 1916, they welcomed a son, George Morris. Their next son, Richard Melvin, struggled into the world in 1919.

Census, 1920

Over the years, the family had sheep, turkeys, farmed, and more, to provide for the family, which included Ramona, Morris, Richard, Leonard (born 1924) and Shirley (born 1928).

George and Cora, September 9, 1931

Cora was active her entire life in the LDS Church. She served just about every calling a women can serve in the church including Primary teacher and Relief Society counselor. George and Cora served together in the St. George temple for 8 years.

Cora and George in 1946. Cora was 55, George was 58.

In 1948, the couple served a mission to the Southern States. It was a 6 month mission.


In 1952, they left for another mission to the Central States for a year, spending most of their time in Kansas.

Cora, 1953. George, 1952.

George & Cora Rowley with their children and spouses, 1953.

In 1959, the celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary.

6 years later, in 1963, George passed away. After his death, Cora made extended visits to relatives and friends. They have been living a Cedar City for a few years, to be closer to the temple, but after George died she decided to sell the home in Cedar City and move to St. George. Most of the time she lived only a block from the temple and until she was 101 (1991), she walked to the temple 4 days a week to do between one and four endowment sessions.

For a few years, she lived with each of her children for 6 months at a time. Just after Thanksgiving in 1995 she fell and broke some ribs. She died November 30th, less than a month from her 105th birthday.

Click HERE to see her gravestone on Find A Grave.

Click HERE to read her obituary.

At my parent's wedding, March, 1972. Back: Doyle Robison, Richard Melvin Rowley, Lois Robison Rowley, Dennis Rowley, Rexine McAllister Rowley, Pearl McAllister, Rex McAllister. Front: Ida Swallow Robison, Cora Morris Rowley.

Myself and my sister with our great-grandma Cora in 1990.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Feeling the need to learn

I have recently wished that I had more information about my ancestors available to me so that I could tell my children stories about them. Before Christmas, with help from my mom, I put together several books containing a brief summary and photos of my parents and a few generations of relations. Although overwhelming at times, it was one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.

Due to the cost of printing books and my large extended family, I decided to attempt a blog with regular posts on different relatives, in hopes that my family will enjoy learning about them as much as I have.